Real Housewives of New York Season 5 Week 1 – A New New York

One Sentence Summary:  We’re back in familiar territory with some unfamiliar faces as the New York Housewives 2.0 begin again.

Tonight, life begins without that laugh.  Life is good.

Our Thoughts:

Rachel:  Oh boy it’s time for the new RHONY.  I don’t know how I feel about them cleaning house for this season.  I loved Jill and Kelly was good for some laughs.  You can keep Alex & Simon.  So not sad to see them go.  At all.  And Cindy, we hardly knew ye and ye’s teeth.  But unless this season came with a lifetime of free bikini waxes for all who endured the drama, I can’t say I’m broken up about her departure either.  But you know how it when you’re told you’re going to meet new women.  There’s an immediate suspicion and an “I’m going to not like you until you give me a reason to like you” attitude right away.  Granted it’s generally gone the moment someone offers me a cocktail, but right now, I’m feeling a bit uncomfortable about letting these new women into my living room.

Melissa:  It’s time to meet the new ladies of New York… Aviva, Carole and Heather.  I have no clue who these ladies are and I’ll be honest, I was too lazy to actually look at the Bravo site to peek their bios.  Just know this ladies… None of you are going to be Jill.  That was my girl!  That said, bring it on ladies.  Shake what your mamma gave ya.  Oh NO, that Heather woman did not just give us a “Holla” in her intro.  And you’re already annoying to me.

We Say “Special Needs” Now

Thank you for being my friend even though I’m “handicapped”.

Rachel’s What Happened:  LuAnn and Aviva, new Housewife #1, head to Central Park for some lunch.  LuAnn explains that she & Aviva have been friends for years.  They met at a party where they were caught looking at one another “as attractive women do.”  I’m sorry, say what?  I didn’t realize that attractive women had a magnetic pull towards each other as to form some kind of pretty person alliance.  And because Aviva is so poised, we’d never know she had a handicap.  And we still don’t know that she has a handicap.  Um, why did you throw that in and then not ‘splain it to us.  And aren’t we supposed to use the term “special needs” now?  Oh, I guess you’re too busy speaking in French, your “code” language.  Yes, that’s an excellent plan.  Speak in code to each other because almost no one knows any French.  I can see LuAnn hasn’t gotten smarter in the off-season.  And she lets her ex-husband, who apparently lives part-time in the country of Asia, live in her house in the Hamptons when he’s in town.  That’s a whole lot nicer than I’d be, but I’m going to bet that it was that or the house got sold.  I’m doubtful it’s just pure graciousness from the Countess.  Aviva tells us that her ex-husband had a little too much of the partying spirit and that’s why they’re no longer.  Interesting… Seems the Countess and Sonja have both enjoyed a, ahem, party or two with Aviva’s ex as well.  Cozy.  Speaking of Sonja, she is having a party.  What a surprise!  The bankrupt party bandit strikes again!  Though she doesn’t like Aviva and has avoided her in the past, LuAnn thinks it would be a wonderful idea to bring her to the party.  Yes, who doesn’t love being unwelcome at a party?

Melissa:  I love how they do this… Look at my dear wonderful friend Aviva that I’ve known for years, about whom I will try to look surprised when I get a juicy nugget that I should have known seeing as though we’ve known each other for years.  Now, here’s a question.  Can LuAnn just invite Aviva to Sonja’s upcoming party?  I’m all for it, because methinks there’s a bit more background between those two that hasn’t been dished yet.  But is that acceptable to just offer out invitations without speaking to the hostess first?  Ah, these crazy NY ladies.

Fresh Brioche

Not placing your face but your ex-husband’s penis is very familiar to me.

Rachel’s What Happened:  Speaking of Sonja, we see party preparations are underway and her latest “intern” is there helping her.  I wonder whose niece or daughter has been enlisted to be her latest errand-girl.  Sonja tells us that the only thing worse than stale brioche at a party is stale guests.  Granted, Sonja & I don’t hobnob in the same circles, but I’m going to venture to say that brioche isn’t often an issue at many parties.  Besides, I thought the cardinal rule of being a Housewife (with a capital “H” of course) is no carbs.  Luckily, her party is fresh.  Sonja fresh.  Aviva arrives and Sonja is clearly thrown off her game at the unannounced guest.  But she tells Aviva that she’s all about love and peace making.  Ah, we shall see about that.  The two remaining new cast members show up and we meet Heather & Carole.  The gang’s all here!  Well, except for Ramona, but I’m sure crazy eyes is on her way, Pinot Grigio in hand.  Aviva is thrilled to meet Carole who has written a book that she really enjoyed.  Sonja is surprised she hasn’t met Carole before now, you know with her Kennedy ties and all.  Please Sonja.  Spare us.  Carole says it’s because she doesn’t go above 14th St.  Oh, I think I like this Carole already, though I’d like to hold her down and force feed her a burger & fries.

And it’s the moment we’ve all been not waiting for, Ramona is here… bottles in-hand.  LuAnn is as cold as that Pinot Grigio at her arrival.  She’s still angry about Ramona’s off-color parenting comments.  Can’t say as I blame her.  Mario didn’t get the memo and says he’s wondering when Jacques is going to propose to LuAnn.  She says if it ain’t broke so don’t fix it, spins on her heels and goes back to the party.

New Housewife Heather has a shapewear company called Yummie Tummie, which is a line body contouring shapers that you’re supposed to see.  Ramona makes a huge fuss over the one she’s wearing and Heather offers to send her one.  She also immediately turns her back on Ramona in need of a cocktail.  Raging thirst for a martini or Ramona snub?  Guess we’ll have to wait and see.  She does bond with LuAnn over their varied ethnic backgrounds and varied ethnic husbands.  Well until Heather said her father just passed on Friday.  Seems LuAnn doesn’t think that is appropriate cocktail hour conversation.  Poor Heather must have missed that chapter in LuAnn’s etiquette book.

That’s code for “Cut the dead husband chatter.”

Meanwhile, Aviva has found Carole so she can tell her how much she enjoyed her book.  It gave her life meaning and perspective.  It seems Carole, sadly, lost her husband to cancer in 1999.  She wrote the book as a sort of catharsis and it didn’t hurt that it was a New York Times Bestseller.  It helped her process, but it also has created a situation whereby she has to relive her husband’s passing every time she meets someone that read the book.  You know I want to say that she shouldn’t have published it then, but I can imagine that it’s not something that occurs to you when you’re writing.  Yes, a rare generous moment.  Ramona pops into the conversation and the talk turns to children.  Carole tells us that she doesn’t hate children, but she hates when groups of mothers get together and that’s all they talk about.  Yep, I think Carole and I are going to get along just fine.

Don’t make me go crazy eyes in the first 10 minute of the show.

Because no party is complete without conflict, LuAnn pulls Ramona aside to have a chat so they can clear the elephant in the room.  Apparently there is no chapter in LuAnn’s etiquette book about not having inappropriate conversations at parties.  Dead fathers are a no-no, but picking a fight is all good.  Noted.  Ramona doesn’t want to go there but when LuAnn says that she crossed the line, it’s on.  Ramona said she went after her as well in her passive-aggressive way.  And the “no you did, no you did, no you did” back & forth continues until Sonja reminds them they were going to take the high road.  The ladies retreat to their respective corners – LuAnn’s being the bar and Ramona’s being Mario.  Ramona is on the verge of a panic attack and she doesn’t know why she has to say she’s sorry for something that is true.  Yeah, you know Ramona, calling out someone’s parenting skills the way you did, repeatedly, is more than apology-worthy.  What you said was nasty and out of line.  Sorry.  Put the bug eyes back in your head and apologize.

Melissa:  Last season was the season of Alex’s voice, so I guess this is the season of “Sonja Fresh”- whatever that is.  I have to hand it to Aviva strolling into the party thinking (well, who are we kidding, she knows) that her husband may have canoodled (and then some) with the hostess.  Oh, so banging someone’s ex shall be known as “crinkles” – awesome.  I really think the Heather and Carole intros could have been more subtle & not the “here they are” approach.

Sweet Mary, the Mona-coaster is her usual wine-in-hand self.  This has the makings of a good night!  WOW, that was a fun interaction between LuAnn and Ramona… PLEASE let there be a throw down on the first night!!  OK, I think Mario and Mona are swingers.  Either that or Ramona wants to skin Heather and wear her around the house.  Down, girl!  I don’t know about the rest of you, but the machine gun back and forth between Aviva and Carole and Heather and LuAnn getting all their backstories is exhausting.  Does anyone else think Heather has a girl crush on LuAnn… or maybe she just has random crazy eyes.  Sonja why would you interrupt the LuAnn/Ramona Thunderdome??  Two Socialites enter, one Socialite leaves.  That was about to get all sorts of good.

I’ll See Your Countess & Raise You A Princess

I’m going to pretend I am happy to interview the Kardashians so that you’ll feature my new book.

In the bright light of the next day, we meet up with Carole as she goes to Glamour to discuss her interviewing the Kardashians.  Gag.  She finds the humor in doing celebrity interviews for glossy magazines.  I’m sure she also finds the paycheck.  She says that she is just on the verge of finishing her next book which is fictionalized story of her adventures in dating after the death of her husband.  We learn that her husband was a Prince and the nephew of Jackie O.  Way to marry well, darling.  Does LuAnn know that her Countess title is about to get trumped by a Princess?  That should be fun to watch.  Carole says that dating as a widow has its own set of rules, which I would have never thought about, but makes sense.  For instance, when you get divorced, you’re encouraged to go out and find a new mate.  But when you are a widow, you are supposed to be mournful and bereaved for a certain amount of time before it’s ok to date.  There you have it.  Buy the  book to find out more.

Melissa:  Carole works for Glamour too?  What doesn’t this woman do?  Though she does have to interview the Kardashians.  Are you kidding me?  This woman has covered wars for a living.  The Kardashians is the best they could give her??  Look how gracefully she accepted that assignment – not a single eye roll.  Can’t say the same for myself.

Liver Schmiver, I Had A Blue Baby

Heather gets her first dose of hanging out with Ramona. Pretty much how we all feel.

Rachel’s What Happened:  Next we go to work with Heather at Yummie and learn about her shapewear company.  She started her career with Calvin Klein and has since worked with Polo, Sean Jean and House of Dereon.  Quite the resume.  I like that we’re meeting successful women this season.  Good for her.  Sisters are doing it for themselves.  It’s a brave new Housewives world!  Ramona stops by to shoot the shit with Heather about their fashion roots.  Ramona tells her that she is doing a talk at the Learning Annex about the idea of “having it all”.  Look!  She’s even on the cover!  Heather feigns being impressed, but tells us in her interview, that she’d have to reevaluate her career if she were on the cover of a magazine that’s on the streets next to trashcans. Then Heather tells us that she makes sure she has time with her kids on the weekends… Well, her kids and her nanny that she hired 3 months before her child was born.  How do I get that job?  She also tells us that her son had a liver transplant at 6 months old, which was really scary.  Ramona agrees but has to one-up Heather so we hear that her daughter Avery was born dead.  What’s that you say?  Did you really just throw down a dead baby gauntlet?  And the happy girl talk turns awkward for them both.

Melissa:  I appreciate that Bravo wants to show us that this new crop of women have real jobs, but now I’m finding it hard to recall what they’ve done in the past to fill our time… Lunch maybe?  Oh, it’s a segue for Ramona to stop by… This should be good.  Poor Heather, baptism by fire.  Ah, now we see, Ramona is there to promote her lecture on “having it all” at the Learning Annex – I was about to question what the Learning Annex was until Heather filled me in (hee hee).  Looks like Heather isn’t going to be first in line to buy her ticket.  HA, that’s Ramona, Heather.  You’re always going to get the One Up from her, but really did she have to go in with a dead baby attempt?  Let the girl settle in first before you start with the “I’ve gone a better one”.

Fast Friends

Do they charge extra for a third leg?

Rachel’s What Happened:  Aviva and her new BFF Sonja meet up for a mani-pedi.  Guess that awkward moment was forgotten rather quickly.  Aviva brings a large red duffle bag to the appointment and Sonja wonders if they’re going to play pool afterwards.  Um no, not quite.  Aviva had an accident as a girl and lost her left leg.  So when she goes to get a pedicure, she has the toes on the prosthesis painted the same color as on her real toes.  She has a flat-footed prothesis and one for heels.  Well, there you go.  That’s some smart thinking.  And now we know what “handicap” LuAnn was referring to… though I’m still confused on how her having a prosthetic leg would have anything to do with her poise…  Well, we are talking about LuAnn.  At 6-years-old, Aviva was at a sleepover and the girls snuck out in the morning to play on the conveyor belt where the manure goes.  Really?  Her foot got stuck and she ultimately lost her leg just below the knee.  She seems very comfortable with the situation, which made Sonja more comfortable.  Comfortable enough to share the conversation she had with her psychic.  Seems Sonja is going to meet a 45-year-old who can go the distance.  Well, that seems open-ended enough.  Aviva just hopes it’s not another one of her exes.

Melissa:  How does one forget about a prosthetic leg, Sonja?  And why would that make you uncomfortable… The girl needs to make sure her polish matches!  WOW, that’s a crazy story. Here I was thinking car accident, birth defect or something.  Manure conveyor belt never crossed my mind.  I love that she is just so matter of fact with it.  Good on you, Aviva!  You know what else I love?  That she’s in dress trousers getting a pedi.  I don’t know about you, but that’s yoga pants territory for me.  I might need to start stepping up my game for Aviva.  Wow, she got ditched because of her prosthesis?  Who does that?  Well, I’m sure a lot of douche bags, but still.  OK, that has to be awkward for a woman to hear two other ladies in her new inner circle have “been friends” with her ex.  Good luck, my dear.  You’re going to need it, I think.

More Sad Stories

I can have this many Pinot Grigios before I fall down.

Rachel’s What Happened:  Oh hey, Heather, Sonja & Ramona are meeting at 75 Main in the Hamptons.  They just opened one by me in Delray Beach.  You know, we’re so much like the Hamptons and all….  Super fancy.  Ha, yeah not even close.  Anyway, Heather thinks it’s weird that Ramona invited her to her home for dinner since she didn’t think they clicked the other day.  But apparently she’ll entertain a glass of wine.  Seems Sonja is still working on her toaster oven meals, but needs a new logo.  Or a new business idea.  Ramona is still pushing Heather to come over and talk business with her.  Heather uses the moment to discuss her father’s passing.  Odd segue but if that’s what it takes to avoid going to Ramona’s house… Ramona isn’t into the dead father convo unless it’s her dead daddy we’re discussing.  Does it have to be discussed at all?  I’m going to say that this new friendship isn’t off to the best of beginnings.  Heather then asks about her run-in with LuAnn, which Ramona also doesn’t want to talk about.  Heather respects that, but apparently, that doesn’t mean she won’t talk about it.  She goes on to say that maybe Ramona needs to learn to love her friends, flaws and all.  And that maybe she needs to give LuAnn a chance at another time.  Well, this is just a train careening right off the rails.  If Heather is trying to avoid building a friendship with Ramona, she’s doing a superb job.

Melissa:  Sonja’s in the Learning Annex too to teach how to cook with a toaster oven?  WHA???  Back up the bus, Heather.  Did you just throw out “Dad died last week” with 2 women you really don’t know??  Wait, maybe she’s just trying to play “How far will Ramona go to have a better story?”  And now she has a blind friend who makes wine?  Girl, you are pulling out all the stops!!

Just A Few of My Newest Friends

You never shut up. You remind me of someone… Oh yeah, my wife!

Rachel’s What Happened:  Ramona’s turn for a party!  Sonja is staying with them and has agreed to make the appetizer for the party.  She’s making meatballs in the toaster oven.  Oh boy.  I hope someone threw a mini-quiche or two in the oven as well.  Aviva and her husband Reid show up with pies and you’d think they were dipped in gold the way Ramona goes crazy for them.  Either we found Ramona’s secret pie fetish or she’s trying way too hard to ingratiate herself to her new friends.  I’m gonna go with the latter, though I do appreciate a good cherry pie.   Next in the door is Heather, who apparently gave in to the invitation.  She would like a scotch but the hosts only have vodka, gin or tequila.  Tsk tsk, Ramona, not having a full bar.  What will the neighbors say when they hear?  Heather would like tequila, which inspires Mario to pour shots for everyone.  But before they can imbibe, Heather has to let everyone know that tequila is an upper, as opposed to all other liquors which are downers.  Lady, if you don’t stop talking over people, I think you’re going to be the official downer of the party.  Watching Heather & Ramona talking together is like watching crazy on speed.  Ramona tells her that she needs to learn to listen and not cut people off.  Heather takes it well, though she makes it known that she feels the same about Ramona.  This is hilarious.  Two women pretending they’re trying to help each other, out of the kindness of their hearts, when they’re really just taking digs at each other.  This is how you do passive aggressive in the Hamptons.

And we’re back with Heather talking about her son’s transplant again. This time to Aviva.  She says that he still faces challenges and she tells him that, you know, some kids are born without legs… Well, if there was ever an opening to tell someone about your prosthetic leg, this would be it.  Aviva tells Heather about her accident and is amused by her strong reaction, and most others for that matter.  It’s a fake leg not a penis.  Her words, not mine.  But Aviva knows what it’s like to be a child and be different, so she can help Heather’s son.  Unfortunately, Heather is too busy telling Aviva that her mom had a boyfriend with a fake leg, which I guess translates to “I’m not uncomfortable.  I’m totally down with prosthetics.”  I bet she also tells black people that she has tons of black friends.  And if she says “O.M.G.” one more time, I’m going to scream.

At dinner, Aviva is telling everyone how she and her husband met – Bed, Bath & Beyond for those playing at home.  They’ve been together 5 years now and Sonja says that she and her husband did so much in 5 years together that they were supersonic.  Would be awesome if Salt ‘N Pepa started playing.  Ramona reminds Sonja that it’s her ex and not her husband.  Nice.  I think she probably knows that, so maybe you don’t have to embarrass her in front of everyone.  If she doesn’t want to call him her ex (she says b/c she never wanted to be married to anyone else), even with a single guy next to her, that’s her business.  Stuff it, Ramona.  You really can’t help yourself from steamrolling over people’s feelings.  But we’re here for a party, so Ramona makes a toast to besheret, which is Yiddish for bringing people together through fate.  Heather isn’t feeling the fate or the inappropriate use of her Jewess-ness.  Yeah, you’re married to a Jew.  You’re not actually a Jew.  Calm down.

Melissa:  Oh Ramona, clearly this is going to be the season of you stomping on my last nerve.  You need to chill a little with the wine not getting opened fast enough!  Maybe you should keep a little flask in your dressing room while you’re getting ready, to take the edge off.  DAYUM, Heather is scoring points with the scotch request… I might like you yet.  HA, etiquette by Ramona.  What a way to welcome the girl – “Hi, shut up so I can talk”.  At least she’s smart enough to agree with Ramona to her face then snark in the confessional.  OK, I’m totally loving Aviva but I don’t need to hear Heather and her “OMGs” all night.  Damn Mona, way to take Sonja out at the knees… Maybe it’s you that needs to start thinking about not interrupting people

Dark Art

And this is a piece from her Orange Period.

Rachel’s What Happened:  LuAnn’s daughter is having her first art show.  Amazing that she was able to achieve anything being that her mother is so unfit.  Right, Ramona?  I have to say her art is pretty awesome.  It’s dark, but I like dark.  I love skulls and she’s got quite a few skull pieces.  So thumbs up from me.  We get to meet Heather’s husband, Jonathan, who seems like he’d rather be anywhere else than on-camera for a Housewives show.  Sonja bails on the party and LuAnn feels like it’s Ramona’s influence.  Aviva and Heather are happy to jump on the “Let’s bash Ramona” bandwagon and share what happened last night at the dinner party.  Honestly, I can’t even defend Ramona because I find her to be so horribly… well, horrible.  Sorry.  She can be sent to the island far far away from here with Teresa from RHONJ.

Melissa:  OK, I wish I could snark on Victoria’s art, but I like it too.

A Drive-By Gossiping

Anyone else think we made a terrible mistake signing up for this show?

Rachel’s What Happened:  Back in the city, Carole, Aviva & LuAnn meet for lunch to recap the weekend.  Luann tells the girls that she had a disturbing call from Ramona last weekend.  She had thrown a party for Noel’s 15th birthday.  At the party, her kids came to her and said that there was a kid passed out in the bushes.  LuAnn runs out to find a girl completely passed out cold on her property.  Apparently, she had snuck in alcohol and got herself a little wasted.  They called 911, because she couldn’t arouse her, and well, that’s what you’re supposed to do.  Well, it seems Miss Ramona caught wind of this and threatened to expose LuAnn and her kids if she keeps trying to force an apology.  Um, if that is true then Ramona is even further off her rocker than I could have imagined.  How does Ramona not get that kids are off limits?  Meanwhile, now that LuAnn has said it on TV, what is Ramona planning on using as blackmail?  And how dare she even think about threatening children?  That woman is 50 shades of crazy.  Seriously.  Heather shows up late and misses the conversation, which will bum her out since Ramona is not her favorite person in the first place.  But since LuAnn only dropped by to drop that bomb, she’ll have to hear it from the other girls.  They all agree that you don’t dare mess with other people’s children.  Oh, the tables are turning on Ramona.  This is going to be a long season for her.  Muhahahaha!  The consensus is that they are dealing with high school mean girl mentality and make a pact to not go there.  Godspeed, ladies.  Godspeed.  And if the previews are any indication, that pact lasts about as long as a commercial break.

Melissa:  OK Aviva, the whole diet soda is bad for you lecture, we don’t need it, thank you very much.  I’m sure my Pinot Noir is bad for me too, but that’s not going to stop me.  Oh snap, Ramona is threatening LuAnn and her kids?  Hello crazy!  Oh I love it.  This is the ‘these bitches be crazy’ crew.  I like all of them now… Well, we need to get Heather to stop with the “holla” and I’ll be good.

Bottom Line:

Melissa: Anyone else feel it was completely and deliciously refreshing not having Alex and Simon around?  Ah, it’s going to be a good season!!

Rachel:  Carole – check.  Aviva – check.  Heather – mmm, jury’s still out.  OK, I’m surprisingly not hating this new crew.  I guess those peeps over at Bravo might know what they’re doing.  New blood.  New drama.  All good.

Photos:  bravotv.com
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